TABLE OF CONTENTS


Overview of the Collection

Biographical Note

Scope and Content

Arrangement

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Bibliography

Container List

Series 1. Personal Papers 1901-1954

Series 2. First Connecticut Volunteer Infantry Veteran Association, Spanish-American War - 1898 1949-1954

Series 3. Department of Connecticut United Spanish War Veterans 1925-1926

Series 4. Photographs undated


RG 069:148, John J. McMahon Papers

Inventory

Finding aid prepared by Allen Ramsey.

Copyright © 2010 by the Connecticut State Library


Overview of the Collection

Repository: Connecticut State Library
Creator: McMahon, John J.
Title: John J. McMahon papers
Dates: 1901-1954
Dates: bulk 1925-1926
Quantity: 1.75 cubic feet
Abstract: John J. McMahon was born in Hartford on April 22, 1875. He served as a volunteer in the First Regiment Infantry Connecticut National Guard, the Spanish-American War, and retired as a Colonel from the Connecticut National Guard on November 23, 1931. He was an officer and member in the First Connecticut Volunteer Infantry Veteran Association, Spanish-American War - 1898 and the Department of Connecticut United Spanish War Veterans. McMahon was elected to the Hartford Board of Education from 1911-1916, elected City Alderman from Hartford's seventh ward from 1922-1926, and worked as an architect in Hartford from 1893-1958.
Identification: RG069_148
Accession: 2009-031
Language: The records are in English.

Biographical Note

John Joseph McMahon was born in Hartford on April 22, 1875. He attended St. Patrick's School. In 1890, a few months before graduation, he left school and started working. The next three years he worked as an errand boy for a Hartford clothing shop. In 1893 he was brought on as an apprentice under architect Frederick Royal Comstock working both in Hartford and New York City.

Military Service

McMahon's apprentice work with Comstock ended when he was called to serve in the Spanish-American War in 1898. He enlisted before the war as a Private in the Connecticut National Guard, 1st Connecticut Infantry, Company B on April 1, 1895. He was promoted to the rank of Corporal on December 8, 1896, to Sergeant on December 7, 1897, and to 1st Sergeant on May 12, 1898.

The U.S.S. Maine on the night of February 15, 1898 exploded and sank while anchored in Spain controlled Havana harbor, Cuba. The exact cause of the explosion remains a mystery. The sinking of the Maine, along with other events, pushed the United States towards war with Spain. The United States issued a declaration of war against Spain on April 25, 1898. McMahon was mustered into United States Service on May 17, 1898.

McMahon served in Company B, First Regiment Connecticut Volunteer Infantry, Connecticut National Guard during the Spanish-American War. The First Regiment Connecticut Volunteer Infantry was assigned coastal defense duty during the war. Company B was transported by the Steamer Manhansett from Crescent Beach near Niantic to Great Gull Island, New York on June 8, 1898. The men pitched camp in an area 175 feet long by 40 feet wide as the rest of the island was being excavated for Fort Michie. On July 18, 1898 the First Regiment Connecticut Volunteer Infantry was ordered to Camp Alger, near Dunn Loring, Virginia.

Company B of the First Regiment Connecticut Volunteer Infantry was mustered out of United States Service on October 31, 1898. McMahon was honorably discharged on June 16, 1899 as a 1st Sergeant and re-enlisted as a Private with Company B on November 29, 1901. He was promoted to the following ranks in Company B, First Regiment, Connecticut National Guard: Corporal on October 1, 1902; 2nd Lieutenant on March 31, 1903; 1st Lieutenant on November 24, 1903; Captain on February 17, 1908; and Major on March 25, 1909. The First Connecticut Infantry, Connecticut National Guard was called back into United State Service on June 20, 1916 for duty on the Mexican border at Nogales, Arizona. Major McMahon commanded the 1st Battalion of the First Connecticut Infantry. The regiment was mustered out of United States Service on October 30, 1916. He transferred to the Connecticut National Guard Reserve on December 6, 1916.

McMahon was appointed Lieutenant Colonel in the First Regiment Infantry Connecticut State Guard on March 29, 1917. He resigned from the Connecticut State Guard on October 24, 1918. On October 25, 1918 McMahon was appointed Major, Quartermaster Corps, United States Army. He served as Chief of Plant Protection, Maintenance and Repair Division, Philadelphia Supply Depot. McMahon was honorably discharged on January 18, 1919. He was appointed a Major in the Quartermaster Reserve Corps (Q.M.R.C.) on March 11, 1919 and reappointed Major on March 11, 1924 to March 10, 1929. Governor Wilbur L. Cross commissioned McMahon a Colonel, Infantry, Connecticut National Guard on November 23, 1931. John J. McMahon retired as a Colonel in the Connecticut National Guard on November 23, 1931.

Veteran Association Member and Officer

John J. McMahon was a member of the First Connecticut Volunteer Infantry Veteran Association, Spanish-American War - 1898. He was Secretary of the association from 1952-1954. McMahon was a member of the Department of Connecticut United Spanish War Veterans. He served as Adjutant of the department from 1925 to 1926. He was a member of the United Spanish War Veterans, Charles L. Burdett Camp No. 4 of Hartford.

Architect Career

After serving in the Spanish-American War McMahon returned to being an architect. He was a draftsman and associate architect in the Hartford firm of John J. Dwyer, later Dwyer & McMahon, from 1900-1911. During his time with Dwyer he helped design at least six different buildings including: St. Augustine's Church at Barry Square; St. Michael's Church; House of Good Shepherd; St. Elizabeth's House; First Administration Building for St. Francis Hospital; and the Elks Club Lodge. On October 24, 1911 Dwyer passed away. McMahon, along with Dwyer & McMahon draftsman Frank Warren Whiton, formed the architectural firm of Whiton & McMahon. The firm designed over twenty buildings in Hartford and surrounding towns including: Mount St. Joseph's Academy; City of Hartford Fire Station #3; Washington Street School Additions; Corning Building at Main Street and Asylum Street; and many other buildings. In June of 1932 McMahon and Whiton dissolved there partnership. McMahon spent the next 26 years as an independent architect designing buildings in greater Hartford. He did partner once while independent to design St. Lawrence O'Toole Church with architect Russell Hills.1

Civic Leadership

John J. McMahon was elected to the Hartford Board of Education from 1911 to 1916. McMahon, a Democrat, was elected City Alderman from Hartford's seventh ward in 1922 and served until 1926. He served on the City Board of Finance from 1925 to 1926. He was active with the Elks Club and served as a trustee of St. Augustine's Church. John J. McMahon died in Hartford on September 8, 1958 at the age of 83.

Endnotes
1 Joseph McMahon, "A Grandfather's Contribution to Hartford's Unique Architectural Landscape," Hartford Preservation Alliance Newsletter (Summer 2007): 3.

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Scope and Content

The papers were arranged into four series and three subseries which reflect John J. McMahon's personal life, military service, and membership in veteran associations in Connecticut. The series include Personal Papers, First Connecticut Volunteer Infantry Veteran Association, Spanish-American War - 1898, Department of Connecticut United Spanish War Veterans, and Photographs. The subseries under the Department of Connecticut United Spanish War Veterans series include Correspondence with Camps, Office Files, and General Orders.

Series 1. Personal Papers, 1901-1954, includes biographical information, clippings, correspondence, national guard correspondence and orders, First Regiment Infantry history and Company B by-laws.

Series 2. First Connecticut Volunteer Infantry Veteran Association, Spanish-American War - 1898, 1949-1954, consists of correspondence, reports of deaths, financial report, and rosters.

Series 3. Department of Connecticut United Spanish War Veterans, 1925-1926, contains correspondence, financial records, minutes, and rosters. The miscellaneous folder contains two pages from a book with the photograph of Company C and correspondence between a Mr. Beck and Albert Hart. The correspondence with the camps consists of letters between the various camps and department. The general orders contain printed orders from other state's departments of the United Spanish War Veterans and the national headquarters.

Series 4. Photographs, undated, contains a panorama photograph of a United States outpost along the border with Mexico.

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Arrangement

Series 1. Personal Papers, 1901-1954

Series 2. First Connecticut Volunteer Infantry Veteran Association, Spanish-American War - 1898, 1949-1954

Series 3. Department of Connecticut United Spanish War Veterans, 1925-1926

Series 4. Photographs, undated

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Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

See the Rules and Procedures for Researchers Using Archival Records and Secured Collections policy.

Restrictions on Use

See the Reproduction and Publications of State Library Collections policy.

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Related Material

RG 081, Department of Connecticut United Spanish War Veterans Records, Connecticut State Library.

Connecticut Historical Society Research Center, Hartford, Connecticut

The John J. McMahon architecture notes, located at the Connecticut Historical Society, document McMahon's career as an architect.

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Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

Organizations:

United Spanish War Veterans. Dept. of Connecticut

Subjects:

Connecticut -- History, Military
Connecticut. National Guard--History
Spanish-American War, 1898 -- Connecticut -- Societies, etc.
United Spanish War Veterans
United Spanish War Veterans. Dept. of Connecticut -- Records and correspondence
United States Army. Connecticut Infantry Regiment, 1st (1898)

Places:

Hartford (Conn.)

Persons:

McMahon, John J., 1875-1958
Ross, Herbert A.
Shea, Frank E.

Document Types:

Clippings
Correspondence
Financial records
Minutes
Pamphlets
Panoramas
Photographs
Publications
Reports
Rosters

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Administrative Information

Provenance

The John J. McMahon papers were donated by James McMahon to the State Library in 2008.

Processing Information

Allen Ramsey processed the papers in October and November, 2010

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Bibliography

Books

Connecticut Adjutant-General's Office. Record of Service of Connecticut Men in the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps of the United States in the Spanish-American War, Philippine Insurrection and China Relief Expedition, From April 2, 1898 to July 4, 1904. Hartford: Case, Lockwood & Brainard Company, 1919. [CSL call number Conn Doc Ad44 res span]

Keller, Allan. The Spanish-American War: A Compact History. New York: Hawthorn Books, Inc., 1969. [CSL call number E715.K32]

Traxel, David. 1898: The Birth of the American Century. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1998. [CSL call number E711.T73 1998]

United States. Army. Connecticut Infantry Regiment, 1st (1898). First Regiment, Connecticut National Guard. 1898-1899. Official History. Outline History of the Regiment During the Spanish-American War as First Connecticut Infantry, U.S. Volunteers. Hartford: City Printing Company, 1900. [CSL call number E725.4 1st.C6 1900]

Articles

McMahon, Joseph. "A Grandfather's Contribution to Hartford's Unique Architectural Landscape." Hartford Preservation Alliance Newsletter (Summer 2007): 3.

Newspapers

Hartford Courant, 1875-1970.

Websites

New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center. Forts. Fort Michie.

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Container List

Series 1. Personal Papers, 1901-1954
Box Folder
Biographical file, circa 1919-1925, undated 1 1
By-Laws Company B, First Regiment, Connecticut National Guard, 1901 October 12 2
Clippings, 1944 January 6 3
Correspondence, circa 1916 4
Correspondence - Connecticut National Guard, 1916-1931 5
First Regiment Infantry Connecticut National Guard, Thirteenth Regiment Heavy Artillery National Guard New York, circa 1906, photocopies 6
Military Order of the Carabao, 1947-1948 7
Series 2. First Connecticut Volunteer Infantry Veteran Association, Spanish-American War - 1898, 1949-1954
Box Folder
Correspondence - miscellaneous, 1952-1954, undated 1 8
Correspondence - Ross, Herbert A., 1952-1953 9
Deaths reported at reunions, circa 1949-1952 10
Financial report of secretary, 55th anniversary reunion at Saengerbund Club, 1953 October 4 11
Rosters, 1949 June 15 12
Series 3. Department of Connecticut United Spanish War Veterans, 1925-1926
Box Folder
Correspondence - Commander Frank E. Shea, 1925 1 13
Correspondence - McMahon, John, circa 1925-1926 14
Financial records, 1925-1926 15
An Invitation to United Spanish War Veterans to Stop Over in the "Gate City of the South," Atlanta, Georgia, 1925 16
McCaskey Camp News, "Independence Day Number," Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 1925 July 17
Minutes of the Twenty-Third Annual Encampment, 1926 June 11-12 18
Miscellaneous, circa 1925-1926, undated 19
Roster - corrected, 1925-1926 20
Correspondence with Camps, 1925-1926
Allan Osborn Camp No. 1, New Haven, 1925-1926 1 21
Charles B. Bowen Camp No. 2, Meriden, 1925-1926 22
Lieut. N.W. Bishop Camp No. 3, Bridgeport, 1925-1926 23
Charles L. Burdett Camp No. 4, Hartford, 1925 24
A.G. Hammond Camp No. 5, New Britain, 1925-1926 25
R.S. Griswold Camp No. 6, Norwich, 1925-1926 26
George M. Cole Camp No. 7, New London, 1925-1926 2 1
A.C. Tyler Camp No. 8, Willimantic, 1925-1926 2
William McKinley Camp No. 9, Norwalk, 1925-1926 3
Sidney Beach Camp No. 10, Bridgeport, 1925-1926 4
Emerson H. Liscum Camp No. 12, Waterbury, 1925-1926 5
Ward Cheney Camp No. 13, Manchester, 1925 6
James W. Milne Camp No. 14, Rockville, 1925-1926 7
Frederick A. Hill Camp No. 15, Stamford, 1925-1926 8
Charles P. Kirkland Camp No. 18, Winsted, 1925 9
W.S. Steele Camp No. 19, Torrington, 1925-1926 10
William H. Hamilton Camp No. 20, Danielson, 1925-1926 11
G.A. Hadsell Camp No. 21, Bristol, 1925-1926 12
Milford Camp No. 22, Milford, 1925-1926 13
John M. Handley Camp No. 23, Thompsonville, 1925-1926 14
Frederick Fuller Camp No. 24, Guilford, 1926 15
Nelson A. Miles Camp No. 25, Middletown, 1926 16
Ernest Weichert Camp No. 26, Danbury, 1926 17
Oliver J. Carey Camp No. 27, Stafford Springs, 1926 18
Gen. Joseph Wheeler Camp No. 28, Derby, 1926 19
A. Wilder Merriam Camp No. 29, Putnam, 1926 20
Office Files, 1925-1926
Camp orders, 1925-1926 2 21
Correspondence - Adjutant General, 1925-1926 22
Correspondence - Adjutant and Quartermaster, 1925-1926 23
Correspondence - Auxiliary, 1925-1926 24
Correspondence - Chaplain, 1925 25
Correspondence - Chief-of-Staff, 1925 26
Correspondence - Commander-In-Chief, Thompson, Carmai, 1926 27
Correspondence - Historian, 1926 28
Correspondence - Inspector, 1925-1926 29
Correspondence - Judge Advocate, 1925 30
Correspondence - Junior Vice-Commander, 1925 31
Correspondence - Marshall, 1925 32
Correspondence - Military Order of the Serpent, 1926 33
Correspondence - Miscellaneous, circa 1925-1926 34-35
Correspondence - Past Commanders and Other Past Department Officers, 1925-1926 36
Correspondence - Patriotic Inspectors, 1925 37
Correspondence - Senior Vice-Commander, 1925-1926 38
Correspondence - Soldiers' Hospital Board, 1925-1926 3 1
Correspondence - Surgeon, 1925 2
General Orders, 1925-1926
Department of Arizona, 1925 October 15 3 3
Department of Arkansas, 1925-1926 4
Department of Connecticut, Auxiliary, 1925-1926 5
Department of the District of Columbia, 1925-1926 6
Department of Florida, 1925-1926 7
Department of Illinois, 1925-1926 8
Department of Indiana, 1925 9
Department of Iowa, 1926 10
Department of Kansas, 1926 11
Department of Kentucky, 1925-1926 12
Department of Louisiana, 1925 13
Department of Louisiana, Auxiliary, 1925 14
Department of Massachusetts, 1925 15
Department of Minnesota, 1925 December 15 16
Department of Montana, 1925 December 2 17
Department of Nebraska, 1925 18
Department of New Hampshire, 1925 19
Department of New Jersey, 1926 January 1 20
Department of New York, 1925-1926 21
Department of Oregon, 1925-1926 22
Department of Potomac, 1925 January 15 23
Department of Rhode Island, 1925 24
Department of Texas, 1926 25
Department of West Virginia, 1925 26
National Headquarters, Cleveland, Ohio, 1925-1926 27
National Headquarters, Washington, D.C., 1925-1926 28
Series 4. Photographs, undated
Box
View from one of the U.S.A. Outposts, Mexican Border, undated, panorama 4